The BBC has confirmed the appointment of Jess Brammar, formerly head of the Left-wing Huffington Post UK website, to an executive news role.
The news was announced by Richard Sharp, the chairman of the BBC, during an appearance at a media conference. “Individual recruiting should be on merit and Jess got there on merit,” said Mr Sharp.
Brammar will become the corporation’s executive news editor and will take up her role this month.
The BBC said the appointment was made “through fair and open competition”.
Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s head of news, said Brammar was an “outstanding journalist” with a “proven track record”.
Concerns about appointment
Speaking at a Royal Television Society conference in Cambridge, Mr Sharp was asked about Sir Robbie Gibb’s concerns about Brammar. Sir Robbie, the former director of communications at Number 10, is said to have texted Unsworth to say her appointment would damage relations with the Government.
Past tweets by Brammar were perceived to be critical of Boris Johnson and Brexit.
Mr Sharp said with regards to Brammar: “Everybody has their own opinions. The question is do they have individual objectivity?”
However, he added it was crucial that the BBC avoided “group think”.